What to do if You Think Your Plot is Stupid

Is My Plot Stupid - Write into the Woods

At some point, every time you start writing a new story, you will sit back and asked yourself:

‘Is my plot stupid?’

Every. Single. Time.

Not even just once, either. You might end up asking this question repeatedly as you write. In between those moments when the words are flowing and you’re completely in love with what you’re doing.

This is what being a writer is.

So don’t worry about it!

If your gut is really telling you that your plot isn’t right, then that’s the time to do something about it.


Try and work out what you don’t like about it.

Is it a character? What they’re doing?

In my experience, moving a character from one location to another has fixed the plot. Other times, changing the character completely has fixed it.

Maybe it’s too predictable. If so, brainstorm some other ideas.

Maybe it’s too short. Consider working on your subplots.

Can’t figure it out?


Take a step back.

Give your mind space to breathe and work it out. Go for a walk, do something else, go out for lunch, talk it through with someone, have a shower.

If all else fails, the shower will work. So be prepared for running out, soaking wet and dripping, trying to find something to write the solution down on.

But if you go through ups and downs, one minute loving your story, the next hating it, then that’s normal. Just keep going.


This is why you need beta readers.

If you need more help, try giving what you have to a trusted friend or beta reader and see what they think about your plot.

Criticism can hurt so approach feedback in a constructive and structured way. Ask them about the plot and only the plot if you’re not ready for feedback on the rest of the story or the writing.

At the end of the day, your plot probably isn’t stupid but don’t be scared to look at it from all angles if your gut is telling you something is wrong.

Otherwise, just take a break and pretty soon you’ll be back in love with your story.


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